Sunday, May 17, 2009

Looks like a result!

It seems, on current opinion polls, that Dalia Grybauskaite, the current EU Budget Commissioner, may have won the presidential election in the first round of voting - the most recent estimate (19.00 hrs) was 67.5%, well over the 50% required to avoid a run-off.

One of her advantages, apart from being a superbly intelligent politician, is that she has been out of Lithuania for five years, and not involved in any of the shenanigans that have been going on in the last few years. She threw her hat into the ring in February, after the small riot over the Government's handling of the economic crisis (they are tightening everyone's belt, so no wonder that the economy is shrinking fast).

She had to overcome some obstacles, though; over her sexual orientation - she is an unmarried woman and there have been rumours over exactly who she might prefer - she said that she was not a lesbian. Can you believe someone having to state that??

Then over her nationality - this blonde woman has a father with a Greek first name, Polikarpas (which is incidentally also the name of the chap who my road in Georgia was named after, Polikarpe Kakabadze - no doubt about links between Greece and Georgia, apart from the Salomes and Medeas of the Georgian world). Someone legally challenged her, and she had to place hers and her mother's birth certificates in the internet to prove that she is a true Lithuanian. The question was never clarified whether the challenger was talking about ethnicity or citizenship....

But at last we may have a president who is not only untainted by scandal (if there were any, the Lithuanian media would find it), and one who has a pulse and a true close connection to the country, her absence in Europe notwithstanding. That was 5 years, not 50 years as in the case of Mr Adamkus, for all the good egg that he is.